We’re with you…… all the way
We understand your concerns, questions, and uneasiness right now.
We have had lots of questions about how our client’s policies may respond in these unprecedented times. That is why we have put together this Q & A section on this ever-evolving situation. We will continue to update this page as soon as new information becomes available.
Q- Will my business interruption insurance cover me for the result of lost business from COVID-19?
A – While every policy is different and unique, most Business Interruption coverage in Ontario and Canada is triggered by bodily injury, or property damage to the building and/or its contents. Business Interruption can’t be triggered on its own. A slowdown in business, forced closure or quarantine are neither considered bodily injury nor property damage.
Q – What about “interruption by civil authority”
A – An extension in policy wordings called “interruption by civil authority” does exist but refers to bodily injury or property damage to a neighbouring or adjacent property where business closed by order of civil authority for clean-up, investigation, etc. Through the use of standard IBC wording, there’s no coverage for business interruption due to an outbreak or disease.
Q – I have closed my doors and asked my staff to work from home. What exposures may I have in doing that?
A – Many businesses have already chosen to go this route to protect their staff and customers at this time. One thing to remember and be cognizant of is Cyber Threats. While working on their own laptops or computers from home, they are potentially leaving you and your system open for hackers to come in a “back door”. Having laptops set up on a VPN is highly recommended. Refer to your I.T. provider to make sure the networks and devices are properly protected. Also, make sure you have a strong cyber policy or extension in place.
Q – I have had to adapt my services and change my operations in order to help financially during this situation. Will my policy cover my new operations?
A – This is a very good question. Some businesses may be forced to be creative in services they offer (i.e. delivery service instead of foot traffic). This will be done on a case by case basis and we encourage you to ask these types of questions and see how your insurance company will be willing to work with you in these unprecedented times.
Getting Through This Together
As the coronavirus continues to spread, individuals, business, governments, and healthcare providers will see its impact and fallout throughout Thunder Bay, our region, and the Country.
For small businesses, the loss of traffic and sales can have significant, long-term effects. We will work with you to see about options, coverages, and what the next steps can be to help you get back on your feet again.
We will continue to monitor the Insurance companies’ responses, the local Chamber of Commerce’s advice and guidance, and what the Federal government will be doing to help SMB’s through their challenges. This is a fluid situation subject to daily changes. Please ask us whatever questions you may have, and know that we are with you in this is….all the way.
COVID-19 and business insurance: How coverage is triggered – Insurance Bureau of Canada
COVID-19: Guidance and Resources for Business – Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
Canada Emergency Response Benefit – Government of Canada